2017 has been an excellent year for London’s restaurant and bar scene. We’ve had debut restaurants from MasterChef – The Professionals chefs, Rick Stein has opened in London, Mr Lyan has given us another restaurant and Matt Whiley opened a sustainable bar. There have been new restaurants in hotels, hidden speakeasies and second ventures from a handful of London’s most popular restaurant. These new venues prove that once again London is at the top of the foodie game…not that we’re bias of course.
The Blue Posts
What: Palomar’s Founders Strike Again!
Why: First it was Palomar and The Barbary, two of London’s most sought-after restaurants, then earlier this year Zoë and Layo Paskin launched Jacob the Angel, the hit coffee spot in Seven Dials, and now the brother and sister duo are back with their latest offering: The Blue Posts. A Soho pub with The Mulwray cocktail lounge upstairs whilst in the beer cellar you’ll find Evelyn’s Table, a single kitchen counter that will act as a perfect place for privately entertaining up to eleven. We expect as much success for The Blue Posts as the duo’s first three ventures.
Where: 28 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 6DJ
What: Not in Nova
Why: Breaking away from the norm, there was actually be a restaurant that opened in Victoria this year which wasn’t in NOVA. Lorne Restaurant opened in March, a modern British menu where wine and food are both equal – not surprising given it’s the work of a sommelier and a chef. Having met at The Square, sommelier Katie Exton (The River Café, Chez Bruce and The Square) and chef Peter Hall, (The Square, Brawn and San Francisco’s Benu) have come together to create a restaurant which is all about good food and wine, without any pretentiousness or snobbery.
Where: 76 Wilton Road Victoria, SW1V IDE
Tom Simmons, Tower Bridge
What: MasterChef - The Professionals' Debut Restaurant
Why: In 2011, Welsh chef, Tom Simmons was the youngest competitor to get to the quarter finals in MasterChef – The Professionals, now in 2017 he has opened his first restaurant, which was also the first restaurant to open in the new One Tower Bridge development (The Ivy followed soon after). Originally from Pembrokeshire, Tom’s respect for nature and cooking is a central part of the restaurant, both in the design (which uses natural materials such as Welsh oak and slate alongside displayed scenes from the Welsh countryside) and in the menu which uses produce such as Welsh lamb from Preseli Blue Stone, Orkney scallops from Keltic Seafare and foraged mushrooms from Fine France.
Where: 2 Still Walk,Tower Bridge SE1 2RA
Rick Stein, Barnes
What: London First For Rick Stein
Why: 2017 was this year that Rick Stein left Padstow and ventured to London to open his first restaurant in capital, albeit on the outskirts in Barnes. It’s a family affair, Rick’s eldest son, Ed, with wife, Kate, and mum, Jill, oversaw the interior; youngest son, Charlie, is in charge of the wine list and middle child, Jack is the Executive Chef. The restaurant has a focus on seafood, with its own small seafood bar serving up fresh oysters, langoustines and sashimi, but it also serve dishes focusing on meat and game.
Where: Tideway Yard, 125 Mortlake High St, SW14 8SN
What: West Brompton's Saviour
Why: West Brompton is mainly known for its cemetery…there isn’t much going on. You don’t go to West Brompton for the great restaurants or the rooftops. That is, until now. Because West Brompton might have had to wait, but as they say patience is a virtue, and that patience is being rewarded with The Prince. A whole street transformed into an epicurean avenue – it’s made up of two bars, four restaurants and a huge secret garden all connected and all under the guise of The Prince. To eat you can choose from Patty & Bun, The Begging Bowl, Rabbit and MAM and just like that from not having much to write home about in terms of restaurants, Lillie Road now has four
Where: 14 Lillie Road, West Brompton, SW6 1TT
What: The Next Restaurant from the Bao Team
Why: Shing Tat Chung, Wai Ting Chung and Erchen Chang, aka the team from BAO came back this year with XU, a new Taiwanese restaurant and bar. Having made it’s home on Rupert Street on the edge of China Town, XU is set across two floors and features a cocktail bar, Taiwanese tea bar, private dining space and 76-cover restaurant. Named after Erchen’s late grandfather, the restaurant pays homage to the rich history and cultural past of Taiwan,
Where: 30 Rupert Street, Soho, Chinatown W1D 6DL
What: New to Tooting Market
Why: This year, cousins Harry Smith and Mark Kimber set up shop in Tooting’s Broadway Market with their restaurant Plot, a fifteen-cover restaurant that showcases the best seasonal and local British produce. Meat comes from Chadwick’s on Tooting High Street, fish from Moxons in Clapham South, olives come from Kent and cured meats and pickled beets from West Dorset. With a sleek marble topped bar, Circus pendant lamps by Corinna Warm and a relaxed, traditionally British feel, Plot has also hosted guest supper clubs and residencies throughout the year as Harry and Mark continue to bring new ideas to Tooting.
Where: 70-72 Broadway Market, 29 Tooting High Street, Tooting, SW17 0RL
What: Where Models Eat Burgers
Why: If you’ve ever wondered where models go when they want to each burgers and mac n cheese then let us introduce you to Ferdi – a little Parisian restaurant which opened in Mayfair this year. Opened by Alicia and Jacque Fontainer and named after their son, Ferdinand, Ferdi is simple food done well – the sort of place you want to go on your cheat day (of if you’re us, cheat life). On the menu, you’ll find their famous cheeseburger, a strong cocktail list and churros. It’s comforting food done well and has amassed quite the legion of loyal A-listers, seeing the likes of Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Penelope Cruz, Christian Louboutin, John Malkovich, Owen Wilson and Kim and Kanye through the doors of their Parisian restaurant.
Where: 30 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, W1J 7QN
What: Martha Ortiz's First London Restaurant
Why: This spring, Mexican chef, Martha Ortiz opened Ella Canta at the InterContinental London Park Lane. The name is Spanish for ‘she sings’, symbolising Martha’s passion and pride for cooking but also the fact that she champions Mexican cuisine and wants the whole world to know about it. London is certainly the place to start. With plenty of tequila, mescal and signature dishes of gold dusted crickets the restaurant is fun, definitely Mexican but not at all clichéd.
Where: 1 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair, W1J 7QY
What: The Bar From Three Greats
Why: Along with Gregory Buda from The Dead Rabbit, New York (voted the World’s Best Bar in the World’s 50 Best 2016) and Richard Ryan founder of Drinksology, Richard Corrigan, launched Dickie’s Bar. With its own entrance and keeping the hunting lodge feel (there’s an antler sculpture) the bar is designed by Drinksology as a storybook, telling the tale of the characters and the journey behind Dickie’s Bar. You’ll also find an extensive list of Irish whiskey cocktails including The Professional Stalker, an earthy, dark, boozy mix using Power’s John’s Lane 12yr Irish Whisky, Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, fig, allspice and Jerry Thomas Decanter bitters
Where: 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, W1K 7EH
What: The Second Mahiki
Why: London’s clubs are going through a bit of a rocky patch – you’ve got the iconic South Kensington club that’s become a fast food joint, you’ve got exclusive Mayfair clubs dropping like flies and even The Handbook’s favourite ski chalet inspired haunt has bid us farewell. In this tumultuous time there is one club that is going strong, so strong that it’s opened a second club; that club is Mahiki and its tiki torch is burning bright. This time the co-founders of private members’ club, Albert’s: Jake Parkinson Smith, Fraser Carruthers and Carlo Carello have joined forces as joint venture partners with Piers Adam and David Phelps, to open Mahiki Kensington, complete with restaurant Pufferfish.
Where: 2A Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 4PT
What: From the Pidgin Team
Why: Brought to you by James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy, the duo behind Michelin-starred Pidgin, Magpie opened in July on Heddon Street and is a modern, British interpretation of traditional dim sum restaurants. Served straight from a trolley, dishes include the likes of mackerel crudo with blueberry kosho and fennel pollen and Hoi An-style terrine with nukazuke pickles. From the kitchen will come hot dishes including udon noodles with paitan broth, calabrese sausage and cavolo nero. Fans of Pidgin will find some of its favourite dishes on the small a la carte menu including Galician dairy cow with lobster, pommes, sarladaises and charred lettuce.
Where: 10 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BX
What: The Sustainable Bar
Why: Scout’s ethos is all about sustainability, championing the produce our fair isle grows and keeping waste to an absolute minimum, so they’ll be foraging for seasonal British ingredients and creating house ferments. The drinks list will be kept succinct, just ten cocktails, five house ferments, five beers and a handful of natural wines, including a strawberry wine. Downstairs, in the Laboratory is where Matt and the Scout team create the perfect cocktails. Here, you’ll be able to try the cocktails that they are creating ahead of them appearing on the menus upstairs and you can also book the space for mixology masterclasses and tastings.
Where: 93 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3HZ
Hoppers St Christopher's Place
What: The Next Hoppers
Why: After the success of their Soho restaurant, Hoppers St Christopher’s Place opened this September. As with Soho, the menu revolves around the hoppers, but they’ll be served alongside a selection of new karis including lamb shank, aubergine, crab, cauliflower and prawn. Making the most of their larger space they’ll be serving up ‘rice and roast’ dishes designed to be shared, family feasting style.
Where: 77 Wigmore Street, W1U 1QE
What: By Mr Lyan
Why: This year saw Ryan Chetiyawardana aka Mr Lyan team up with Doug McMaster from Brighton’s zero-waste restaurant Silo, MIT food scientist Dr Arielle Johnson and Champagne house (and luggage manufacturer) LVMH to launch new restaurant Cub. Cub offers a luxury drinks-led dining experience. In a sort of bar-restaurant industry fusion the venue ‘blurs the boundaries between food and drink’ with hybrid bartender-chefs who prepare food and drinks side-by-side. Examples of courses include Krug with water jelly and spiked herbs or Japanese knotweed, raw sheep’s milk and ramson.
Where: 155 Hoxton Street, Shoreditch, N1 6PJ
Frog By Adam Handling
What: Adam and Eve
Why: Following on from Frog E1 and deli, Bean & Wheat, Adam Handling opened his flagship restaurant this autumn, Frog by Adam Handling. This new Covent Garden restaurant features a large open kitchen and a bar in the basement, Eve. Regulars of Frog E1 will be happy to hear that the cheese truffle doughnuts and chicken butter are still on the menu.
Where: 34-35 Southampton Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7HF
What: From the Guys Behind 108 Garage
Why: Following on from the success of 108 Garage, Luca Longobardi and Chris Denney have opened their second venture, Southam Street. A grand, old Victorian pub in Notting Hill, named after the historic thoroughfare that is immortalised on the front cover of Colin MacInnes’ cult classic, Absolute beginners. Divided across three floors, it features a tequila and mescal bar, raw bar and ground floor restaurant.
Where: 36 Golborne Road, Notting Hill, W10 5PR
Evans & Peel Pharmacy
What: A Top Secret Bar
Why: It’s unlikely you’ve ever been to a pharmacy for fun, (we say unlikely because we’re not going to judge), no your usual trips probably involve prescriptions and mystery rashes. That was until now. Five years ago, a bar opened up in Earls Court masquerading as detective agency and this year Evans & Peel started dabbling in pharmaceuticals as the Evans & Peel Pharmacy opened in Chiswick. Upon entering the 1920’s pharmacy, you’ll meet the legendary pharmacist, before making your way to the bar. If you’re lucky you’ll know the password and will be taken straight there, as the windows simultaneously black out to preserve its secret identity. To drink there are various Old Fashioneds and vintage whiskies and classic American comfort food to eat.
Where: 42 Devonshire Road, Chiswick, W4 2HD
Jean-Georges at The Connaught
What: The Connaught's New Restaurant
Why: The new restaurant at the Connaught has been opened by the internationally renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the all-day restaurant has an eclectic menu which is inspired by Jean-Georges’ classic French training, his signature use of Asian flavours and his unique take on British classics such as fish and chips. Taking the same approach as he does in his New York restaurants, (The Mark, ABC Kitchen and his vegan eatery, ABCV), only the best British ingredients are used. Dishes include the likes of egg toast and caviar; crispy salmon sushi and his legendary black truffle and fontina pizza, as well as classic Connaught dishes including truffle scrambled eggs, French brioche toast and a Full English. Puddings include a raspberry mojito with lemon mint curd, mojito sorbet, raspberry and a demerara sugar; peach candy floss and chocolate caramel peanuts.
Where: The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, W1K 2AL
What: At Peckham Rye Station
Why: A ticket office might not be the usual place to find a restaurant, but this year, Coal Rooms opened in Peckham Rye’s beautifully restored former Grade II listed ticket office which was originally part of Peckham Rye’s train station in the 1930s. Part of the restoration included excavating and restoring the loos which are incredible, definitely worth checking out. On the menu is plenty of meat with eclectic sides and for pudding an apple and cheddar pie.
Where: 11a Station Way, Station, 4RX, Peckham Rye, SE15 4RX
The Game Bird
What: New to The Stafford
Why: Opening at the start of the year, The Stafford’s new restaurant, The Game Bird champions Great British ingredients from Clarence Court eggs to Salt Marsh mutton and Lincolnshire smoked eels. Pies, puddings and stews all feature on the menu with the likes of steak and ale steamed suet pudding and Sunday roasts with all the trimming. Of course, you couldn’t have a restaurant called The Game Bird without game – false advertising and all that – so you’ll find roast grouse with bread sauce and game chips, Rhug estate fallow deer tartar with quail egg, Worcestershire sauce and charcoal mayonnaise and wood pigeon pot au feu and game pie with port and shortcrust pastry.
Where: 16-18 St James’s Place, St. James’s, SW1A 1NJ
What: Swapping Shipping Containers For Bricks
Why: Kricket swapped their shipping container in Brixton for actual bricks and mortar when they opened earlier this year in Soho. Still using British seasonal ingredients, the menu is more extensive than the original Kricket, with new sections devoted to dishes created on the robata grill and breads, meats and fish baked to order in a clay tandoor. Expect to find dishes such as Delicia pumpkin, makhana sauce, fresh paneer, hazelnut crumble, puffed wild rice and Cornish crab meen moilee, castlefranco and peanuts.
Where: 12 Denman Street, Soho, W1D 7HH
The Cheese Bar
What: The Cheese Truck's 1st Home
Why: 2017 saw the opening of The Cheese Bar, the first permanent home for The Cheese Truck, created by Mathew Carver in 2014. It’s basically a cheese lover’s dream – cheese for breakfast, cheese for lunch, cheese for pudding. Festival favourites such as the Cropwell Bishop Stilton, bacon and pear chutney sandwich will return as well as new dishes including a breakfast poutine. If weird cheese dreams are real, prepare for some crazy ones.
Where: Camden Stables Market, Camden, NW1 8AH
What: The Bar For Calvados, Cidre and Poiré
Why: June saw the opening of Coupette in Bethnal Green, a French neighbourhood bar, headed up by the former head bartender of the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, Chris Moore. Making a home for itself on the ground floor of a 160-year old building which was formerly The Albion pub, Coupette makes use of lesser-known ingredients such as calvados, cidre and poiré. Signature drinks include Apples made from Calvados mixed with cold-pressed apple juice; a Truffled White Negroni and a Champagne Pina Colada.
Where: 423 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, E2 0AN
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